FAIRFIELD, NJ, January 25, 2021 — A&B Ingredients, a leader in providing unique ingredients to the food and beverage industry, announced their Top Three Food Ingredients that enjoyed the highest growth in 2020. Natural preservatives, plant proteins, and textured plant proteins were in high demand among A&B Ingredient’s customers.
“Every year, we analyze our performance to identify product areas that enjoyed the highest growth and interest from our customers. Our goal is to listen to our clients and understand their product needs and pain points. We strive to fulfill customers’ demand for natural, plant-based, functional ingredients that can not only replace synthetic counterparts but also provide better performance and nutrition in food and beverage formulations,” said Gil Bakal, Managing Director of A&B Ingredients.
Based on the last year’s growth across A&B Ingredients product lines and ingredient solutions, the trending food and beverage ingredients in 2020 included:
- Natural Preservatives and Shelf-Life Extenders
- Plant Proteins
- Textured Vegetable Proteins
Food Safety Trend
In 2020, there were 391 recalls of both FDA- and USDA-regulated products, which was a significant drop compared to the 2019 numbers (691 recalls). However, the total volume of the recalled food products has increased from 71 million tons in 2019 to over 157 million tons in 2020. Of the 391 recalls, 96 recalls were caused by pathogenic contamination of Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and E. coli.
“Dealing with food recalls due to contamination results in profit losses and a public relations nightmare for any company. And the biggest threat here could be running the risk of permanently damaging your brand in the consumers’ eyes. Our versatile line of antimicrobials, yeast and mold inhibitors and preservatives has saved our partners the headache of dealing with such adversities. By adding a clean label antimicrobial as a bacterium kill step in the production process, we can eliminate up to 99.99% of bacteria and then inhibit their growth with a range of natural ingredients.” – Bakal noted.
The plant-based protein category has been growing year over year, fueled by consumer demand for healthier and sustainably sourced food. And the trend will undoubtedly continue into the year 2021. Multiple reports have shown that people have started to incorporate more plant-based proteins as part of their commitment to eating healthier or due to lack of meats available at grocery stores during the pandemic.
According to Good Food Institute, 60% of consumers want to reduce their meat consumption. As a result of this trend, even big meat companies like JBS and McDonald’s (with their plant-based sandwich) are developing vegetarian options to meet the consumer demand for vegetarian alternatives. Other producers add plant proteins to their meat-based products to improve the nutritional value of the product or for functional reasons, such as improving the emulsification and binding of the product. The new “hybrid” offering appeals to the “flexitarian” consumer and is a source of both animal and plant-based protein and supplies protein at a higher level than traditional or all-vegetarian options.
Textured Vegetable Proteins
The food industry is experiencing a high demand for healthier, plant-based alternatives from consumers, who are unwilling to compromise on the taste or texture of the products they eat. According to the Plant-Based Foods Association consumer insights report, taste is the primary driver of food purchases, closely followed by the health aspect of plant-based foods.
The plant-based food products market is not just limited to consumers recognized as vegetarian or vegan. There is a growing number of consumers, nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population, according to the 2017 Mattson survey, who identify as flexitarians. Flexitarians are actively cutting their meat and dairy consumption, which creates a massive market expansion potential for plant-based food producers.
Textured vegetable proteins are highly nutritious ingredients complete with a superior level of plant-based proteins. These plant-based ingredients improve the nutritional value, texture, and taste of the vegetarian product. In meat alternatives, textured proteins can help create a meat-like texture.
“The growth of the plant-based food segment is largely driven by the consumer demand for healthier and tastier food products, which will definitely continue in 2021. A&B offers innovative and customized textured pea and Faba bean proteins that are non-GMO, gluten- and soy-free. We also offer an organic option. Our textured proteins allow an application-specific approach in formulation development, which makes them the optimal solution for any plant-based food formulation,” Bakal explained.
PRODUCTS TO TRY: Texturized Pea Proteins
A&B Ingredients provides natural clean label ingredient solutions to the food and beverage industry with a focus on health and nutrition, food safety and quality. A&B Ingredient’s portfolio includes pea protein, starch and fiber, shelf-stable probiotics, low sodium sea salt, natural flavor enhancement, natural antioxidants, antimicrobials, and yeast and mold inhibitors.